Durban – THE Bluff Community Policing Forum (CPF) is working on a plan with the police to tackle a recent spike in crime in the area.
Since the weekend, there have been four break-ins in the area: at Checkers Liquor, Foschini and Cell C at the Bluff Towers Mall, and a 100-year-old gold chalice was stolen from the Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Parish 2.5km away.
The parish’s secretary, Pat Vickers, said the chalice was taken along with other items from the church sacristy.
Bluff residents voiced their concerns on the Gatvol Bluff Facebook page. A few blamed the recent crime spike on the mushrooming of shacks not far from the centre, and called for the centre to beef up security measures.
“Two days in a row Bluff Towers has been hit. I think the residents now need some answers urgently. Before vigilantes start taking control,” one message read.
Theresa Hills posted: “It’s time for the centre management to start taking our safety and security seriously. They are failing the public and failing their tenants. Bluff residents have been supporting this centre for decades and it’s high time the centre management showed us some loyalty, too!”
Bluff Ratepayers’ Association chairperson Ivor Aylward said: “I’ve not seen any visible policing in the area. We as the ratepayers are tired of the crime as we now have to employ private security in the area, which is a huge expense to us.”
He claimed that the Bluff area used to be one of the safest.
Andy Rossell of the Bluff CPF said that the number of shacks across the road from the centre had grown, which he felt was concerning.
“At least seven shacks have been built this week,” he said.
Rossell said there was visible policing in the area and regular patrols conducted at the shopping centre and in the area. In addition, they were working with the police on a plan to address crime.
Community Policing Forum Youth Desk chairperson Charles Leaven said the CPF was doing everything it could to eradicate crime in the area.
“We’ve started patrols in the area and our councillor is working with Social Development to assist us with the matter. The majority of the crimes committed are thefts and break-ins,” he said.
Bluff Towers management declined to comment.